Kevin Love encourages the Class of 2020 to 'give dreams clarity' on the pathway to success

Vinciane NgomsiYahoo Sports Contributor
Yahoo Sports

At just 31 years old, NBA star Kevin Love has amassed a considerable amount of accolades. A championship title with the Cleveland Cavaliers and five All-Star nods, Love is no stranger to overcoming doubt and facing your fears head on.

Addressing the Class of 2020 in a virtual graduation ceremony on Friday during the Verizon event, “Class of 2020: Ready for Anything,” Love encouraged graduates to maintain a positive mental outlook as they enter an arguably unsettling period of history.

An advocate for greatness on and off the court, Love’s message is one that will resonate with students years after succeeding in their personal endeavors.

Prove them wrong

“We all have to get over that self-limiting belief that life is too complicated, too expensive, and too dangerous to crack the world wide open,” he emphasized. “There are no starting lines or deadlines to fulfilling your dreams. Is today the day? I don’t know, but if it is, find your North Star. That thing or things that you’re passionate enough to reach past your wildest dreams. Shout it loud to whomever will listen.”

Dreams need clarity

“Without clarity, you might as well be staring into a fog mirror,” Love explained. “You can’t see or do much without any precision staring into them.”

Develop short term goals on the way to long term goals

Love admits that “for as long as I can remember,” he wanted to be in the NBA.

In the run-up to making that dream a reality, the former UCLA Bruin detailed the sacrifices he made back in high school to ensure he could ultimately reach his goal to become a professional basketball player and provide for his family.

“If you’re on the path to achieving audacious goals, you have to have some road signs, some short-term interim goals. How did I plan to accomplish mine? I had to sacrifice time and moments with friends and family. I had to sacrifice school dances and sporting events. I decided my short-term milestone was to become America’s best high school player. It’s easy to drift away from your target without those interim goals.”

Leadership is not for the meek

Considering he’s played alongside and against some of the greatest athletes of all time, Love described the mental toughness he’s developed throughout his tenure in Cleveland.

“When I was traded to the Cavs, I was quickly labeled the third player in our Big Three. It was LeBron (James), Kyrie (Irving), and me. Playing with that group taught me how to be a soldier. They taught me how to sacrifice for a common goal. They taught us all how to find our own genius and draw out the best in one another. On that team, we learned to fail and fail fast before we could achieve our ultimate end goal.”

Meet your future halfway

“Generation Z has been tested with chaos. This is your opportunity to put fear and doubt behind. It’s your time to dance, to jump, to sing or to celebrate all that you are and all that you can become. Write a different story for yourself because as a generation, you have the potential impact that few others have ever had. It’s up to each of you to make that matter.”

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